Set up Local Complaints Committee under Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013.
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Yesterday, a friend called me up asking who heads the Local Complaints Committee in our district. Frantically, I asked her what the matter was. She was working in a leading Multinational Company. One of her superior officers was sending her pornographic materials and talking to her in a perverted manner. Even though she expressed despair, the act continued. She took up the matter with the Internal Complaints Committee, but in vain. He even threatened her of job security. She wanted to pursue the matter, but could not find the Local Complaints Committee. As she told me about the unfortunate incident, I was searching for the nearest Local Complaints Committee online.
To my surprise, I could not find even a single Government circular providing for the constitution of a Local Complaints Committee. There is no list or a publication that provides for the details of the Local Complaints Committee. Though with disbelief, I had to render the bad news to my friend who thought that the Local Complaints Committee would provide her with some relief.
Under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013, the Local Complaints Committee is created as an appellate body to the Internal Complaints Committee and where such a Committee is not formed. It is expected to be constituted in every District. The Local Complaints Committee is the savior of people like my friend who has to continually face sexual harassment in workplaces.
The legislation is considered to be a landmark woman empowering policy but only on paper. Even after four years of the commencement of the Legislation, Local Complaints Committee is not set up in every district nor are the other Committees in the local level. It is nothing but a sad reality that non implementation of the legislation tears down the will and the courage of people like my friend to fight for their rights.
There are a maximum of three states that have provided the details of the Local Complaints Committee. Atleast, ensure that these Committees are set up. Implementation of the legislation in the absence of the Committee is a far cry. Therefore, my humble request to the Ministry of Women and Development, is to set up the Local Complaints Committee in every district as the law mandates. If there is Local Complaints Committee, at least provide the details through the Government website.
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